We all love Brooklyn Bridge Park, even if we had to make peace with the idea that since housing is supposed to pay for the park it means condos overlooking the nice green grass and the roller rink and the pool. Now though, a group of heroes is fighting the incursion of housing, to preserve some of its natural beauty. Sorry, we didn’t mean “heroes,” we meant faux-liberal NIMBYs who don’t want to see affordable housing go up next to their million-dollar condos at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, according to their incoherent complaints in this weekend’s New York Times. Imagine the horror, the same, the indignity of living next to a family of four who makes $138,440.
The fight over whether or not two buildings going up on Pier 6 should contain affordable housing or not isn’t exactly your classic small fry neighborhood group against big time connected developer. It’s a collection of some people from Brooklyn Heights and expensive (and park-adjacent or park-located depending on who you ask) One Brooklyn Bridge Park against other residents of the Heights and the city government who in favor of affordable housing in the Pier 6 buildings. One lawsuit plaintiff in a suit against the city complained that her harbor views on her runs would be ruined by the buildings, and the lawyer for the plaintiffs against the buildings is the same lawyer who argued in favor of SUNY selling LICH to make condos.
Of course, it’s not that these people don’t want to live around poor (well, “poor”) people. Just ask them! The desire for affordable housing to be in “the right way” or in “the best place,” keeps coming up, as is the insistence that the opponents are good liberals who just want things done correctly. The champion of dunderheaded opposition comes from One Brooklyn Bridge Park resident Blair Guppy, who said on a Change.org petition against the buildings that he’d never have bought his expensive new condo if he knew he’d be living near “100% subsidized housing” and then told the Times “By no means am I looking to come across as an elitist. I’m not worried about the influence on property values, but sometimes things need to be looked at.” As of press time, it’s unclear whether Blair Guppy came straight out of central casting or if he wears an ascot.
The fight over whether or not there should be any housing at all in the park is an interesting one, but it sounds like it’s being driven incoherently by people who sound like they’re just trying to hold on to what they got. The Times points out that the plans for the two buildings minus affordable housing were approved in 2006, the architect of One Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the plaintiffs in the suit against the new buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation said revenues were strong enough to include affordable housing and the affordable housing is only going to take up 30 percent of the units in the new buildings. Anyway, read the story on your lunch break, or just tell your boss you need to fuel your class-war rage fire so you’re reading it right now.